Dicamba application certification training dates offered through March

Applicators planning to use specific dicamba herbicides labelled for the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System for soybeans and cotton must complete U.S. Department of Agriculture-approved dicamba training before spraying these products this year.

“Whether you’re a certified applicator or driving the application equipment you have to be trained,” said Todd Baughman, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension summer crop weed specialist. “Even if you went through training last year, you’re still required to go through the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry approved training this year.”

The one-hour training is free of charge, although in some cases it may be offered in conjunction with a meeting or conference that has a registration fee.

Only the ODAFF, Extension and the three major manufacturers—Monsanto, DuPont and BASF—are authorized to provide the training.

In Oklahoma, Extension and ODAFF are collaborating to offer the training.

Upcoming training dates include Feb. 7 in Shawnee at the Grand Casino Hotel and Resort; Feb. 9 in Cordell at the Washita County Activity Center; Feb. 13 in Enid at the Chisholm Trail Expo Center; Feb. 15 in Blackwell at the Blackwell Fairgrounds; Feb. 20 in Cherokee at the Alfalfa County Fairgrounds; Feb. 23 in El Reno at the Canadian County Fairgrounds; Feb. 26 in Warner at Connors State College; Feb. 27 in Vinita at the Craig County Fairgrounds; March 5 in Kingfisher at the Kingfisher County Fairgrounds; March 6 in Carnegie; and March 22 in Taloga at the Dewey County Fairgrounds).

The date for the  event at the Oklahoma Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Goodwell is to be determined.

For more information, including specific training locations and times, contact your nearest county Extension office.

Recently introduced to Oklahoma, the Xtend cropping system for cotton and soybeans allows over-the-top application of dicamba herbicides, which traditionally had not been the case until this newest technology was developed.

With that technology, three specific herbicides—XtendiMax, Engenia and FeXapan—were developed for this use that are lower volatility than the other dicamba products currently on the market.

While regulations went into effect last year with the introduction of the technology, issues with drift in several states led the Environmental Protection Agency and manufacturers to develop new regulations for 2018.

The mandatory training will cover the new regulations, including how to work with these herbicides, which are now restricted-use products with extensive recordkeeping requirements and best management practices for applying the herbicides.

Baughman stressed the training is important not only because it familiarizes people with the new regulations, but also because the label for the three herbicides only goes through December of this year.

“If we have any types of issues, especially to the level we had this past year, we could potentially lose the use of this technology for soybeans and cotton, which would be a major detriment, especially to producers who are dealing with resistant weeds,” Baughman said.

A version of the required training will be available for Spanish speakers in February and an online edition of the training will be available later in the year.